How to ease the language barrier with ethnic minority service users?Print

Q: I would like to contact my ethnic minority service user, can I call CHEER for interpretation service?

TELISA: Yes! CHEER provides free of charge Telephone Interpretation Service (TELIS) for all ethnic minority people in Hong Kong!

During operation hours of TELIS (Monday to Sunday 8am to 10pm, except public holiday), CHEER Interpreter provides immediate TELIS support to you!


    Indonesia Flag   Nepal Flag  Pakistan Flag India Flag  Pakistan Flag
Bahasa Indonesia 印尼語

3755 6811

Nepali 尼泊爾語

3755 6822

Urdu 烏爾都語

3755 6833

Punjabi 旁遮普語

3755 6844

 Philippines Flag  Thailand Flag  India Flag quocky-2
Tagalog 他加祿語

3755 6855


3755 6866

Hindi 印度語

3755 6877

Vietnamese 越南語

 3755 6888

*During the non-operation hours (i.e. 10pm to 8am on Monday to Sunday, and on public holidays), an English speaking or/and Cantonese speaking staff will be standby to answer calls from the TELIS hotlines only when request was made for interpretation support on urgent matters.Click here for more information of TELIS

Q: I would like to have face-to-face conversation with my ethnic minority service user, can CHEER help me? 

EISA: Sure! CHEER provides On-Site Interpretation Service (OIS), which is face-to-face interpretation service between you, your service user and Interpreter.

As OIS is upon request by public service provider, please  make application for your service user to CHEER.

Click here for more information of OIS

Q: I would like to organize a group/seminar/talk to an ethnicity group, what service can support me?

A: Simultaneous Interpretation Service (SIS) is a face-to-face interpretation when our interpreters present physically in the same place with you and the ethnic minoritySIS service user. It gives support to public providers on transmitting essential information to respective groups of EM residents in workshops and seminars.

Click here for more information of SIS

Q: How to effectively promote written service information to ethnic minorities?

A: You may consider our Translation Service (TS), which is written communication from English to the seven ethnic minority languages, and not vice versa.TS

Service charges for public service providers from Government Departments and NGOs are as follows: $0.5 per One ethnic minority word to English (Minimum charge is $100)

Click here for more information of TS and proof-reading service

Q:Can I ask particularly request for female or male interpreters in different cases?

A:  Sure! You can make the option in the service request forms. For Telephone Interpretation Service, you can make Telephone Interpretation Service Appointment(TELISA) to request the gender of the interpreter and we will try our best to make arrangement for you!

Click here for more information of TELISA

Q: I don’t know the ethnic minority languages, how can I ensure the quality of the interpreter’s work?

A: You are suggested to check the background of the agency which provides Interpretation Service for you. Take reference to its selection process for Interpreters, professional trainings for Interpreters and assessment system for Interpreters.

How does CHEER select candidates to be Interpreters?

pointing-hand-icon-32437 Minimum academic requirement of completion of HKDSE or equivalent level.

pointing-hand-icon-32437 Pass a written and oral test in both English and the specified EM language.  The assessment methods were in consultation with the Bilingual and Translation Studies Department of the Hong Kong Polytechnic.

pointing-hand-icon-32437 The oral and written tests are assessed by experienced interpreters of CHEER or external examiners comprising representatives from various EM communities.

pointing-hand-icon-32437 Only those who passed English comprehension test, reading, written and oral tests of respective ethnic minority language will be invited to attend an interview to access their suitability for the job.

How does CHEER train and assess Interpreters?IMG_01221

  •   The centre provides 6-months induction training to all newly recruited interpreters. The training areas include:
  •   Professional interpretation and translation skills
  •   Code of Ethnics for Interpreters
  •   Knowledge of community resources in Hong Kong.

pointing-hand-icon-32437  New interpreters are required to sit for 2 assessment tests during the induction period.

pointing-hand-icon-32437 On-job training will also be provided on a regular basis to enhance their skills in interpretation and translation and equip them with update knowledge of public resources.

pointing-hand-icon-32437  Proficiency assessment tests are conducted from time to time with a view to ensure the interpreters meet the performance standard.

pointing-hand-icon-32437 Experience sharing sessions are also arranged on a regular basis with interpreters from other organizations, e.g. Government Department and NGOs, to widen their exposure.

Q: Do I need to pay for the services and how to make payment?

A:     For TELIS, it is free of charge. Ethnic minority users and you can call us on Monday-Sunday 8am to 10pm, except public holiday), CHEER Interpreter provides immediate TELIS support to you!

For OIS, SIS and TS, they are only provided on request from and paid by public service providers. Rate list is as below:  

Service Service Charge Payment method Remarks
OIS $100 per hour during operation hour
$200 per hour during operation hour
  • Our interpreters will collect the fee for provision of OIS upon completion of service.
  • Please give exact amount of fee to the interpreters and official receipt will be issued upon request; OR
  • You can also request for an invoice from CHEER and settle the payment by cheque.
  • We do not accept Purchase Card.
Operation hours:

(Except public holidays)

Monday-Friday:10am – 6pm

Saturday:10am – 2pm

SIS $200 per hour per language during operation hour
TS HK$2 per English word;

minimum charge is HK$300

Invoice will be sent to your unit/department after translation work is completed.

You can settle the payment by either cash or cheque upon receipt of the invoice.

Q: How to book CHEER’s Interpretation and Translation Service?

A: It’s easy! Fill in the forms and send to CHEER according to the instruction on the forms.

Download TELIS Appointment Request Form

Download OIS Request Form

Download SIS Request Form

Download TS/Proofread Request Form


CHEER provides on-site briefing session public service providers, which aims to enhance their understanding on on the daily life and culture of ethnic minorities, introducing Interpretation and Translation Services To share and share how to work with Interpreter effectively and ease the communication with ethnic minorities.

Download poster

Download application form

Q: How to network with ethnic minority users?

A: You may outreach the ethnic minority in ethnic minority shops, religious places, schools, their living areas and playgrounds. It is also a good try to contact with the ethnic groups.

You are always welcomed to contact us at 3106 3104 if you would like to collaborate with us!